Battle Magic – Tamora Pierce

This is the 9th book in Pierce’s Circleverse sequence (in book time) set between the Circle Opens  quartet and the books Will of The Empress and Melting Stones. Because of this a lot of  major plot points are already known for those  reading in publication order.

Briar is travelling with his student Every and  teacher Rosethorn through distant lands. They  have made more friends in the temples they  visit and the three of them are very close, with  Rosethorn quietly taking a mothering responsibility  for the two young people,

As the title suggests, the three end up getting  caught in a war, using their ambient magic, to  assist in the defence of Gyongxe , a mountain  country, against the Yanxing Emperor. His a  David and Goliath war, but Gyongxe has a few  tricks.

I like the Circleverse because although there  are religious orders for the most part those gods  worshipped have little supporting evidence. This is  a strong contrast to Tortall where many of the  protagonists are ‘God-touched’. Because of this I’m  not sure I like how ‘alive’ the gods are in this book.

in Gyongxe or the ‘excuse’ for why this wasn’t  already known because people who leave the high  mountains forget the living supernatural beings.  Or why they let so many people be slaughtered  before they interfered to protect the country.

It also makes it harder to see how Briar ‘gave up  Envy when they reached Winding Circle. Although she  was still with Rosethorn, he considered her his  responsibility so much in this book, reading the  next one’s where she is still in need of a teacher  and he has left doesn’t feel right,

But this is all nit-picking, and by my level of involvement with the characters I know I still love these  books,

Thanks also to Anna C for a loan of her ARC (and the rest of the Mark Reads Tortall community: I love the trust and good faith which allowed that to be passed around) giving me time to have all these thoughts before my  hardback copy arrived.

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